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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    September 28, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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unladylike behavior. >> todd akin at it again, new comments from the senate candidate put the gop back on the defense. hello, everyone. i'm alex witt in for thomas roberts. we'll get into the akin impact. tick-tock with 35 days to go. a new round of polling shows president obama now leads in nine key battleground states that could decide the race for the white house. the president holding a razor-thin edge over romney in north carolina and nevada. he leads by seven points by romney's home away from home, new hampshire. those poll numbers causing the clock to tick and grow louder thousand. the first debate is five days away. >> do you think that he has the ability as a -- >> having debated him 15 or 17 times, yeah. >> he's a pretty good debater, isn't he? >> he's a better debater than any of the nominees on the
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ticket. >> how much will the debates matter? with iowa one of 30 states castingle balan casting ballots by the end of the month? >> do you know that mccain beat obama on election day, and obama got it in early voting. >> things can change overnight with a great debate performance, but again, mark hallprin, time is running out. >> he's still behind in too many places to win. he doesn't have as of today an obvious electoral college path, and he's not going to make it up on the ground with enthusiasm anymore. >> let's bring it kristen welker at the white house for you. by the end of the mow, 30 states are casting early absentee ballots, that includes five battleground states. is the president's team confident they can keep governor romney from closing the gaps as we see in the polls as of today? >> good morning, alex. i think the obama team is
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confident but they're cautious. they're six weeks until election day. that's a lifetime when it comes to politics. folks have already started to turn out for early voting. we have a graphic of what we've seen so far. it shows that obama campaign supporters are actually leading right now in terms of voter turnout as compared to romney supporters. i've spoken with officials with the rnc, and they say this doesn't concern them. why? because typically democrats turn out for early voting in larger number than republicans. officials at the rnc tell me they're feeling incredibly confident right now when it comes to their ground game and voter outreach. they say this is going to translate into voter turnout between now and election day, so that is what in the words of one republican official allows him to stleep at night. we have a graphic of this breakdown. take a look. when you look at the numbers of 2012 compared to 2008, according
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to the rnc volunteers have made six times the phone calls nationwide than they had at this point in 2008. look at the swing states. virginia has made 11 times more phone calls, 12 times more door knocks than in 2008. in ohio a similar story. you see four times more phone calls than in 2008 and in colorado three times more phone calls. however, they concede that democrats have a powerful ground game as well when you look at the match-up there. in virginia democrats have 44 offices compared to republicans who have about half that number. ohio democrats have 123 offices as compared to republicans who have 41 democratic officials saying their ground game is the bread and butter of the obama campaign. republicans stress it's not about the number of offices. it's about voter outreach, and they feel confident about that right now. >> you're tagging along with with the president as he heads to nevada. he has three days to do preparations there for the debate. do you know what's on the agenda?
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>> reporter: they're being a little closed-lip about the specific agenda, but they say it's an intensive three days of debate preparation. they also point out this is taking place in a swing state, so you can expect president obama to be out engaging in some campaign events as well. i can tell you, alex, aneat na dunn and ron clan are running the process. john kerry is a formidable challenger there. he'll stand in as mitt romney. one thing we're reporting is both sides trying to lower expectations heading into the debate on wednesday, which is key for both candidates, alex. >> for themselves and increasing them for the other guy. that's what they're doing right now. thank you so much. let's bring in the political power panel. jonathan kapart, and chris cofinus and jackie gingrich kushman, author and daughter of newt gingrich and former adviser
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to her father's presidential campaign. welcome to the throuee of you. five days is all mitt romney has before the debate. the politico article everybody is talking about today say this isn't the chair or ho hum convention or the leaked video or distorted polls or the message or mormonism. it's mitt. does he have enough time for a real game change? >> you know, five days before the first debate, 40 days before election day people go around the country already are starting to vote early voting in a bunch of states across the country. it's unclear whether there's enough time. as that politico story points out and as i've been writing a couple of times now, mitt romney has a personal problem, and that is he's too much into micromanaging his own campaigns. as peggy noonan says, his campaign needs a ceo.
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he needs to be the candidates. he needs to kiss babies, shake hands and do rallies and get on the plane and get to as many rallies he can in addition to adding specifics to his platform and agenda and let someone else worry about the nitty-gritty details. >> can i ask you, though. things when he holds up that baby and that baby is crying its eyes out, i mean, what do you do with that kind of thing? that's just bad luck. >> yeah, it is bad luck. you just pass the baby back to the parent and find a child who is smiling. >> so, chris, we have obama's senior adviser david axelrod who said this in a memo about the upcoming debates. we expect mitt romney to show up in denver. the first debate generally favor challengers. the president never really
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shined in. is that the right thing to do? >> strategically that's what campaigns do. when you look at -- i watched most of the republican debates. i think governor romney is a very good debater. there's certainly things you can't teach in debates, and that's in terms of how you attack your opponent. he had his bad moments, i.e., his 10,0$10,000 bet, but he was pretty solid. i remember during the primaries when we were prepping against him, it really wasn't -- he wasn't a candidate we were focused on in terms of being concerned about debating. all that being said, usually the challenger in this circumstance would go in with lower expectations. the problem here is because romney's campaign is in such a terrible position, and it's flailing. everyone is fixated on, is this the moment, the debate that turns things around? the expectations are higher for governor romney, and that is the problem. that's what the campaign and governor romney have put themselves in this position
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where if they don't do well in the debate, it really is the beginning of the end. >> politico is reporting that mitt romney plans to fact-check obama in the debate. governor romney has been accused of flip-flopping on issues in the past. should he focus more on his own policies instead of discrediting statements of the challenger? >> a couple things. listening to the last answer, it's fascinating we focus more on the campaign than about performance. if you look where we are as a country, we have over 8% unemployment. our debt is now at $16 trillion. it was a little over 10 when president obama took office. president obama is talking about everything but his record, because he can't run on his record. mitt romney needs to have a very broad, bold statement about what he would do as president, and contrast that very, very plainly with the current performance of president obama. obama does not want to talk about the current economy and
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his current performance, because he knows under that debate he loses. >> if it's all about -- if it's all about record, can mitt romney run on his record and appeal to those that are the ground base of his own party to come out? >> absolutely. the ground base -- the most important thing not only for his side, but if you look at hispanics and women and a variety of voters, the most important topic they're interested in is the economy. it's the economy. i hate to quote james carville, but it's the economy, stupid, once again. part of why people are focusing on anything but the economy is because economic news is not good. they have not passed a -- any budget much less a balanced budget in years. it is unbelievable. >> quick, because i want to get some sound, but go ahead. >> real quick, this notion that somehow the president and democrats aren't out there talking about the economy is laughable. the problem with the romney
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campaign is not that they don't talk about the economy. they don't talk about their policies. it's the american people aren't buying it. they do not want to go back -- um not sure what it takes for the romney campaign to observe this revelation. but they do not want to go back to the same policies that created this mess. that is the fundamental problem with the romney campaign. you cannot keep selling what people do not want to buy. >> okay, you know what? jonathan. i want to throw this at you. newt gingrich was on "morning joe" this morning and he was talking about what romney needs to do in the debates. here was his answer. >> what advice would you give to barack obama? >> call bill clinton every morning. >> how did bill clinton get to be such a major player in this election? >> bill clinton? >> yeah. >> one, he's a former democratic president. two, a former two-term democratic president, and also a president who led the country at a time of peace and prosperity. when he left office, only the sky was the limit to what this
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country could do. i bet you in bill clinton were a republican, mitt romney would have him in a bear hug and have him on the campaign trail with him every day. bill clinton is president obama's best surrogate out there. so that's why he's on everyone's lips. that's why he's everyone's best friend now it seems. >> you three were my best friends the last few minutes or so. thanks, guys. >> thank you. >> thank you. what would happen if a u.s. president did this? we're going to talk about israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and his wiley b. coyote bomb warning about iran and all that. tragedy at the office. why a gunman opened fire killing four people before turning the gun on himself. also a possible motive for colorado shooting suspect james holmes. there's new information ahead in
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if these are the facts, and they are, where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here. >> israeli prime minister netanyahu at the u.n. yesterday dramatically laying down his red line for stopping iran's program. one day later it exploded on twitter with the jury still out whether the prop was pure genius or a cheap stunt? a ari fleischer said it was one of the best uses of a chart identify seen. is the world listening? sam stein, and jerusalem based
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journalist tweeted get ready for 10,000 tweets about the absurd bomb chart. few new more than ambassador dennis ross. he served as the point man in the middle east process for george h.w. bush and bill clinton. he's a political analyst for msnbc. we're glad to have you, ambassador ross. we've seen never a speech like this at the u.n. by such a key, prominent leader. here's what tom brokaw said with it on "the daily rundown." >> think what they would say if president obama did something like or george w. bush or if mitt romney had made a speech and held up that kind of bomb and drew the line across it. it kind of boggles the mind, quite frankly. >> ambassador, what if this had been an american president doing something like this? >> well, i think obviously there's a certain backdrop to what happened during the whole question of -- during the bush
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administration of iraq. i think this was a kind of graphic way of trying to show something. would an american president do that at the u.n.? it's an open question. is it effective? if you're trying to explain an issue people have heard about, when you reduce it to something that makes it rather clear and tends to simplify it, it at least tends to clarify what you're talking about. i think what prime minister netanyahu was trying to do was to explain, where is the point where we would become concerned when we say we will prevent an iran from having a nuclear bomb, what's the point to lose the ability to prevent that? this was his way of demonstrating it. would it be effective for an american president? hard to say. i think it was fairly effective for him. >> you know, the prime minister is going to have to now get on the phone with the president as well as secretary clinton, after making this speech. do you think he overstepped a political line here, and in any way gave the president cover on the iran issue? >> it's very interesting that if
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you go back about two weeks ago when there appeared to be more of a sense of difference between our side and the israelis, the president and the prime minister, they had an hour phone call. in the aftermagth of that phone call, there's ongoing discussions and the prime minister made a reference to those discussions yesterday. he lauded what the president said when he was at the u.n. about the objective of prevention and not containment. he made it clear there's ongoing conversations, and he's very hopeful and confident that we'll chart a common approach. i suspect that what you saw yesterday was part of an ongoing process between the president and the president's advisers and the prime minister and the prime minister's advisers. we're move inning a direction where the distances that were there, which were always tactical and not strategic, are being managed at this point. >> the prime minister said that iran is already 70% toward getting enough nuclear fuel for a bomb. he said, this is what it is. he confirmed it himself. it has to be stopped within
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months. here's what president obama told the u.n. on tuesday. here it is. >> let me be clear. america wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy. we believe that there is still time and space to do so. that times is not unlimited. make no mistake, a nuclear-armed iran is not a challenge to be contained. >> where does the intelligence stand on this? is there a uniform opinion? >> there is, in fact, a uniform opinion on what the status of the iranian nuclear program is. where there is more uncertainty is whether or not the iranians have what it takes to turn what is fuel that is at a weapons grade into a bomb. simply because you have weapons grade fuel doesn't mean that you immediately are able it to put it into the form of a warhead. the gap, i think, is not so much a gap in terms of agreement or disagreement, but there could be a gap in knowledge because it's hard to know exactly what they are in terms of what's referred
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to as weaponization. one thing iran has not done with the nuclear watchdog of the u.n. is answer their questions about the very issue. what they mean is where are they in terms of experiments as it relates to weaponization? so there's a lot of knowledge about where they are in terms of enrichment. there is less concrete knowledge on precisely where they are in terms of weaponization. >> you make that point very clearly. ambassador dennis ross, thank you for your time, sir. >> my pleasure. the state department is temporarily removing more staff from the u.s. embassy in libya's capital of tripoli citing security reasons after the september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya that killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans in protest of the anti-islam film made in america. republicans on a miss to
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the rnc is in damage control mode after a firm was hit with allegations of fraud. the rnc abruptly cut ties with the firm known as strategic allied consulting but not before paying the company more than $3 million. >> some of the information on the florida voter registration forms were trying to register people with addresses in new york. some of the address changes that were being requested on the forms were actually being transferred from a home address to commercial buildings. in one instance a couple was being reregistered to an address in miami that is a shell gas station. >> yikes. here to help us sort it out is
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joanne reed. welcome to you. >> thank you. >> let's get rnc communications director sean spicer responding to all of this. >> it's totally different. we the at this point have a allegation. that has caused us to act swiftly and boldly and receiver our ties with this firm because we have a zero tolerance when it comes to this. the other side clearly engaged in a long time for inappropriate behavior. we don't believe that's appropriate, and we want to make a swift and bold action to illustrate that. >> nose are the actions as a result of what happened. the faktd is there's a back story here. >> absolutely. >> how bad is this for the rnc? >> it's bad and terrible optics. when he says we have a zero tolerance and acted swiftly, swiftly is in 2004. this same company under a different name was accused of several states having their canvassers go out and register people to vote and vote and only
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turned in the republican demonstrations. people that wanted to be registered as democrats found them shredded. they were not on the roll on the election day in 2004. he claims these were individuals that did it and he was maligned behind it. this is the same company. he has this shady rep up pew tags for a while. >> he was investigated for voter fraud. >> he was. there have been these allegations hanging over his head for a long time, and yet the rnc paid him $2 million. >> why? why would they hire someone accused of doing that very thing? >> what's interesting is sort of the dark explanation for it, right? this is an aggressive attempt to subtract voters from the rolls. this is a campaign to minimize the number of democrats available to vote. that would be the sort of nefarious explanation. an innocent explanation would be there's a small number of professional firms who do this sort of work, and he's done it in arizona since 2000. this is a larger firm that does this stuff.
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i think because of the rnc and republicans made a big deal of voter fraud, it doesn't look good the only actual fraud found is on their side. >> make a good point as always. thank you. coming up, president obama gaining ground in the latest battleground polls, but mitt romney doesn't seem worried. some republicans act like nothing's wrong at all. are they in denial? "the cycle" hosts join me next. ♪ ♪ fly by night away from here ♪ ♪ change my life again ♪ ♪ fly by night, goodbye my dear ♪ ♪ my ship isn't coming ♪ and i just can't pretend oww! ♪ [ male announcer ] careful, you're no longer invisible in a midsize sedan. the volkswagen passat. the 2012 motor trend car of the year. that's the power of german engineering.
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woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the future? find out with the aarp voters' guide at earnedasay.org i think scott brown and linda mcmahon and a lot of candidates out there are really going to be in trouble if the national republicans now go back on their word and come in here and try to fund todd akin. >> well, missouri senator claire mccaskill sending a warning to all republicans the day after her gop opponent called her unlady-like. a down ballot effect could happen it to mitt romney to republican race as cross the country. "the daily beast" says the gop is suffering from self-dell lugs
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syndrome. joining me are three quarters of nbc's newest show "the cycle," krystal ball, toure, and s.e. cupp. >> steve is here as the holy ghost, right? >> anyway, okay. so krystal ball, i want to start with the latest comments from todd akin. they kay claire miss cass kill unlady-like. >> unbelievable. >> among them newt gingrich, rick santorum, jim demight not, high profile. do you agree that this could have a national trickle-down effect here? >> i think it has a trickle-down effect and it has a trickle-up effect as well. look at mitt romney's polls in ohio he's trailing among women by 25 points. so the overall impression of the republican party as not getting women, as being very unfriendly towards women, as not scientifically understanding women has had a negative impact on the gop.
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it's unbelievable that in the very week when he finally -- when the deadline passed that he could no longer get out of the race he comes back out with something else to get back in the news. >> incredibly harmful to the gop. todd akin does not rep the republican party. he doesn't speak for mitt romney, but she's right. it's having a trickle-up effect. it's affecting the presidential race, and it's damaging the party's identity. >> he doesn't speak for the gop, but when he talks about the legitimate rape, obviously, most people run from that, rightly so. when he talks about rape in no cases at all, the legitimate rape comment was only trying to legitimatize that ideology. when he talks about abortion in no situation at all, that's part of the gop platform. >> it's a lot of people who are pro-life have that point of view. that i don't fault him for. what i fault him for is junk science, and his inability to say truthful things. i mean, this is not a person
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that i think the republicans or anyone would want representing them. >> i fault him for that, and i think most americans understand that women should have the right to make choices. when a woman's life did -- >> pro-choice americans do. not pro-life americans. >> when women are raped and the victims of incest, they should have the right to do what they want to do. >> that's certainly your opinion. >> that's what most americans believe. >> this is not "the cycle." i have another topic to get to. >> are you here? >> i'm here. i want to go to the massachusetts race, scott brown is targeting elizabeth warren about her native-american heritage. let's play this and get your reaction. >> i'm scott brown and i approved this message. >> harvard thought that elizabeth warren was a minority because she said so. >> harvard touted her as a minority. >> initially she said she didn't know anything about it. >> she kept covering up and going deeper and deeper in the hole. >> elizabeth warren got caught.
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>> seems like this is a pattern for her. >> it should affect a lot of voters and how they feel about elizabeth warren. >> we have enough people in washington that will say anything. don't need one more. >> the thing here is the timing of this ad, this topic on the very same week when some of his staffers were accused of the tomahawk chop. >> this is a big issue because he's losing to elizabeth warren. she claims to be native-american and checked the box and used affirm itch to get ahead. i am part native-american, american indian. that's part of my family. this is not going to prove or disprove. it is part of her family, part of her. she hasn't used it to get ahead at harvard or in education. it's really sort of weird issues in terms of the town and gown culture clash in in race. a lot of people that are scott brown voters would believe, she doesn't look native-american or american indian, so she must not
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be. race is a social construct, so you can't do a dna test and prove whether i am or not. >> it's a very professional response, but i think scott brown's point is this is an issue of character. if you're going to be an honest person and you think there should be a level playing field, i think this speaks to her character. that's the point he's trying to make. not that race is a social construct, which i don't think resonates. >> this issue is not resonating with with massachusetts voters. if she is part american indian, should she not claim because she doesn't look it enough for scott brown or certain people? >> okay. can i ask you also, i want to go about the article i referenced at the top in "the daily beast" talking about the gop suffering from self-delusion right now. it's the truth, americans like barack obama. they don't like mitt romney. they really don't like paul ryan. so you look at all the recent polls, you have four of them.
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you have reuters, gallup, bloomberg and fox show the president leading. which doesn't mitt romney embrace these polls and acknowledge them? say, this is how it is right now. we're going to change them? >> i think internally they probably are doing a lot of that and trying to figure out how they can shift the narrative, but i think that article is exactly right. yes, mitt romney has been a poor candidate. yes, his comments about the 47% have been truly devastating to this race. i think his problems go way back. they do go to a self-delusion the gop has about the president. that he's awful and a toaster oven could beat him in an election. it's not true. the american people like the president. mitt romney was forced to move so far to the right in the gop primary it's hard to come back to a sensible, mainstream view and his embrace of paul ryan on the ticket just made that that much harder. >> if you're in the wilderness for years and you're not winning and we have 8% unemployment and we should win this thing and
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you're about to not win this thing, you can't blame your ideology. you want to blame the candidates or polls or media. >> i have to go or else i get blamed for this if we go too long. thank you so much. we'll see all of you on "the cycle" every weekday at 3:00 p.m. on msnbc, the place for politics. there's new developments in one of the country's most enduring mysteries, the disappearance of jimmy hoffa and brand-new video as police removed a large soil sample from a michigan home moments ago. this move follows a tip the teamster boss may have been buried there more than three decades ago. let's get right to it. what's the latest on the search? >> reporter: as you said, about 30 minutes ago they came out of that shed behind me with two 6-for t6 6-foot long two inches in diameter core soil samples. that's the area where the informant says he saw a body
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being buried. it's also the same area where ground-penetrating radar indicated to police there was an anomaly. there was something about two feet below the surface of the ground. so they drilled those core soil samples. they're going to be taken to the michigan state university to a forensic anthropologist. by monday they hope to it find out if they're human remains in those soil samples. the chief said from the naked eye they were just dark, murky soil, no indication, no obvious indication of anything in there. but the forensic anthropologist will be able to see what's in there, and if there are signs of human remains, they're going to dig this area up to find out if this is where the end of the mystery is. alex. >> wouldn't that be remarkable? john yang live in michigan. here's a look at stories topping the news now. new court documents are unsealed in the case against james
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holmes. he threatened a university of colorado professor before the shooting but no word what the threats were. holmes was banned from campus because he dropped out. he faces 152 charges in the shooting that killed 12 in july. new details on a former employee's deadly outburst in minneapolis yesterday. he opened fire inside his old office killing four and wounding four others. he later died after turning the gun on himself. one of the victims was an immigrant that founded the sign making business in 1984. another victim was a ups driver of 29 years. the gunman had reportedly been fired earlier that day. nearly 50 are recovering from a school bus accident in kentucky. look at this. a car slid into oncoming traffic crashing into that bus causing it to flip on its side. it was packed with students heading to middle school. officials say none of the injuries are ligfe-threatening. the real nfl refs return to work as heroes just one day.
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>> a tip of the cap to refs. what's going on? >> fans in baltimore greeting the yefr referees with a standi ovation. the ravens hung on to win 23-17. the browns are still looking for their first win. be sure to watch the giants versus the eagles this sunday on nbc. time for your business entrepreneur of the week. andrew is the fourth generation owner. you'll find the handmade wooden wa wa water tanks on new york rooftops. he said he don't throw out what works. you just build upon it. for more watch your business this sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech.
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♪ spread a little love my way ♪ ♪ spread a little something to remember ♪ [ female announcer ] fresh milk and real cream makes philadelphia and the moment a little richer. with the election less than 48 days away, governor romney is in pennsylvania in all places and he's predicting he's going to win. within the hour he will drove home his message about how military cuts will hurt the state in an appearance in wayne. pennsylvania hasn't voted republican since george h.w. bush. polls show him trailing
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president obama by as much as 11 points. the latest poll puts the score at 54 to 43. is pennsylvania in play? let's bring in former pennsylvania governor ed rendell who knows pennsylvania like no other. welcome. >> hi, alex. >> we want to talk about the fund-raiser. it's been on the governor's schedule for a while. he's not been in your state campaigning since mid-summer, so why now? >> i don't think they intended to have this rally, but i think the pennsylvania state republican party pressured them into having a rally. they're not playing in pennsylvania right now, and unless the polls improve significantly, i don't think they'll play much at this point. president obama's been very, very popular in the southeast, in the philadelphia suburbs and the city itself. it's a real tough hurdle to overcome. but interestingly, ohio, pennsylvania, florida, none of them according to the time's
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poll looked promising and no candidate can win without winning at least one of those three states. >> as a political veteran, you know well it's not over until it's over, and you say there are a couple of scenarios under which mitt romney could win. one may be more plausible than the other, but what are they? >> first of all, he needs two things to happen. he needs a terrific performance in the debate. he's capable of that, alex. he won almost every possible debate when newt gingrich did very well. governor romney is a good debate and he stays on message and looks and sounds like a president. there's no question about it when he's in that sort of disciplined, restricted venue. so i think he's going to do very well on on the debates. the second thing he needs is for the obama campaign to make a major error, and i don't think that's very plausible. the obama folks have always been cautious, and they've sort of the adopted a running out the clock strategy. it seems to be working.
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so i don't think there's a plausible chance that he can get there. the only thing that could happen is if he creates a real ripple of enthusiasm with the first debate and builds off of that. we'll see. >> in terms of enthusiasm, polls have a lot to do with that. the "wall street journal" today jumped on the poll denial bandwagon, even citing reports the president won in 2008 because minority turnout was up while white voters stayed home. do you find it suspicious we just hear that argument now? >> sure. let me tell you, at the beginning of this year i worried as a democrat that there would be much higher turnout, much more enthusiasm on the republican side. after the conventions and during these last two weeks, i'm now convinced that the democratic turnout will exceed republican turnout. there's much more enthusiasm on our side. there's all sorts of discouragement, disappointment, name call being, back biting on their side. i think we're ready to go, and i
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think you'll see a higher democratic turnout. maybe not quite as good as 2008, but i don't think the republican turnout will match two2008 eith. >> thank you much. see you again soon. >> thanks, alex. president obama makes his case for re-election "saturday night live" style. it's time for the sidebar. >> we're in a deep financial hole. the numbers are bad. 23 million people out of work. but things are getting better. remember that movie "the sixth sense"? i'm like the kid in that movie. i see employed people. i know you don't see them, don't even know they're there. one day all of you will be bruce willis, and you'll realize that you were employed all along. won't that be nice? >> that was genius. president obama has been connecting with voters over a
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cold beer or two. he's given away some of his white house brewed beer as well as releasing two recipes. you might tell someone's politics by the beer they drink the the national journal broke down research data and here's what they found. if you drink heineken, you might be a democrat. republicans love their sam adams. beer and a baby is something else you see on the campaign trail. unfortunately it's not always a good situation like this picture of mitt romney. look at this, he was all smiles during that campaign stop in virginia yesterday. the baby he was holding, not so much. quite a different picture from president obama last year. remember, the baby whisperer? >> i know, i know. >> oh. >> oh. that's the magic touch right there.
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want to share breaking news out of atlanta where police are investigating a suspicious package at the ter my nis building in the buckhead section of the city. nbc news hearing other buildings may have been evacuated too. a guest staying at the grand hyatt who was reporting about having been evacuated. we'll let you know if there's more and it becomes anything more than a bomb threat. mostly good news lately about the housing market. sales and prices are up, forecast closure filings down about 15% nationally last month from the previous year, but it is a different story in new jersey where foreclosure filesings have sky rocketed in august from the year before. only pennsylvania had a bigger increase, at 129%. in new jersey the democratic lawmakers are blaming republican governor chris christie for refusing to release almost all
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of the $300 million in federal funds that the state was given to help all the troubled homeowners in the garden state. joining me now, democratic state assemblyman and deputy speaker gary scherer who sponsored legislation to combat the foreclosure crisis. this has to be frustrating to you, $300 million? >> extraordinarily frightening since only $4 million of the $300 million has been committed. we received, alex, those funds over a year ago, we had 58,000 foreclosures or those three months late or more on their mortgage. we have a way to correct the swas and the money is not being spent. >> i'm sure you've not been silenced about this. tell me what the governor is saying. >> that's the problem and the big problem and it's the reason why we're going to be having the special assembly hearing on the subject to understand more. we're not getting any information back from the
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governor. the governor when he ran for office a if few years ago spoke about transparency and open government. we're in the seeing that transparency now, but most importantly, we're not seeing the dollars that middle-class new jerseyans need to stave off foreclosure. >> you and the state assembly may not be getting answers but there was a reporter that went at the governor to try to get some answers about what this was after posing a question. i believe we have a little bit of sound on that. let's play that. >> i do have a follow-up, governor. >> yes. >> who are you, by the way? >> [ inaudible ]. >> from where? >> wabc. >> my follow-up, i'm not sure that's true -- >> if you don't think it rings true. it's not a question. >> this is an urgent issue facing the state. >> don't show up once in every blue moon and think you're going to dominate my press conference. thank you very much. >> governor christie's administration is now saying look we promised we're going to
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change things, quicken the distribution of funds. what do you say to that? >> why hasn't it happened well over a year? why is it people who applied for these funds last year have just been told now that they no longer qualify because they owe too much? last year when they applied, they didn't owe so much. $48,000 is available to those people facing foreclosure or who are three months late. over a two-year period of time. people who applied a year ago no longer may qualify. >> it is a pressing issue and i'm sure they'll be pressing the governor and others there. thank you very much. gary scherer. >> just a programming note, governor chris christie will be one of david gregory's guests on "meet the press" this sunday. that's a wrap for me this hour. see you back here tomorrow with my regular gig. savannah guthrie joins me for office politics but "now" with alex wagner is next. ari is going to fill in. >> hey, alex. a great show. we're going to ask whether the candidates are ready for this
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october home stretch. early voting starts an the first debate is a week away. members of mitt romney's camp are pointing fingers at the nominee himself. people don't like congress, so how did this become the year of the incumbent? we will look at how voters are circling the wagons in key congressional races when msnbc's melissa harris perry stops by. the untold story about president obama's improving economic numbers. msnbc's chris hayes will join us for up now, all that starts when "now" begins in three minutes. are superior drivers? yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? [ voice of dennis ] silence. what do we do when something really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces,
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is the romney campaign just now getting a grip on their general election strategy? that's what newt gingrich thinks. with 39 days to go and voting under way if the romney campaign does have a grip on things it's a loose grip. it's friday, september 28th, and this is "now."